– Proposed legislation would require emergency text-messaging at college and university campuses statewide
– St. John’s University campus-wide alert sent via cell phone text messages to students and faculty
– Praise from NY Governor, NY Police Commissioner, State Assembly,
NEW YORK, Sept. 29 LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire –After a masked gunman was spotted and subdued without a single injury this week on the campus of local University, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told a news conference, “St. John’s newly instituted emergency text messaging system worked like a charm.”
New York Governor Eliot Spitzer praised the University’s
newly-installed electronic notification system and New York Assemblyman
Rory I. Lancman offered legislation requiring text-messaging systems at
college and university campuses all across New York State.
Dr. James Pellow, chief operating officer of St. John’s University,
lobbied his administration for an emergency notification system after the
Virginia Tech tragedy in April, 2007. This week, Dr. Pellow was quoted in
the media as saying, “No one thought that we would be testing this latest
technology this quickly for an emergency” … it “allowed us to manage this mini-city of 20,000 people.”
The emergency text message sent to the St. John’s campus in Queens by
Thomas Lawrence, the university’s vice president for public safety and a
former deputy chief of New York Police Department, read as follows: “From
Public Safety. Male was found on campus with rifle. Please stay in your
buildings until further notice. He is in custody, but please wait until the all clear.”
St. John’s inCampusAlert text-messaging system, provided by MIR3, a
California technology company that specializes in automated mass
notification systems for corporations, governments and universities, was
credited with keeping the campus population informed and calm, and for
enhancing public safety during the crisis.
According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, more than 70
percent of 18- to 29-year-olds own a cell phone and 92 percent of them use text messages regularly.
“The University’s response … serves as a national model,” Police
Commissioner Kelly added. “Coincidentally, St. John’s was one of the
participants in our campus security conference last week, during which we
examined the emergency response at Virginia Tech, and other campuses.”
Immediate News Feature / Interview Opportunities
In addition to the statements issued by the Governor, the Police
Commissioner Assemblyman Lancman and St. John’s University, additional
feature news content and interviews are available to editors and producers
over the weekend and on Monday.
Contact Shirley Gines at MediaBridge for coordination and referrals to key spokespeople, subject matter experts and other news makers.
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